Challenge:

This gold and silver mine in Northern Mexico was located in a remote location with extremely limited local resources. The client needed to fully automate the on-site processing of gold and silver ore under tight schedule requirements. Because of the remote location, the client required a modular process control design along with pre-wiring and testing before arrival on site.

This project was truly multi-national as well with Australian engineering, Canadian project management, American construction management and automation, and Mexican construction and operation. Language barriers during installation and commissioning posed a significant challenge.

 

Solution:

A completely modular design was developed around GE iFix and Rx3i Process Automation Controllers. Distributed I/O was installed and wired by our technicians into six modular enclosures housing motor control for the entire facility. These enclosures were factory tested and then shipped to the site in Mexico for electrical installation. Vertech’s commissioning team included a Spanish speaker to bridge the communication barrier.

The resulting SCADA system provided monitoring and control for all mine processes including primary and secondary crushers, conveyance, ball mills, thickeners, leaching, tailings stacking, chemical pumps, water distribution, and a variety of other ancillary systems.

 

Benefits Received by Client:

Careful planning, preparation, and pre-testing of the modular process control design facilitated on-time system commissioning, enabling the client to take advantage of strong commodities pricing. The client was left with a reliable control system to run their facility for the life of the mine. The detailed documentation set provided will be a great benefit to maintenance and operations teams moving forward.

Project Stats

6

Modular Control Centers

1,592

I/O

162

Motors

“The Santa Elena mine processed 739,542 tones of ore in 2014 to produce 27,609 ounces of gold and 1,157,021 ounces of silver. ”

— First Majestic Silver Corporation

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